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Tank Stand *PICS*

Posted By: Mr. Leadfoot <leadfoot@sbcglobal.net>
Date: Saturday, 9 August 2003, at 4:44 a.m.



I finally finished the bottom part of the tank stand for my 75 gallon tank. The setup will be part of a 13.5 foot long entertainment center in my family room. There will be a top canopy, and I am currently designing that now. Because this is the first piece of woodworking I've ever done, I followed the plans I found on the net. That was the biggest mistake I made. You see, the plans called for using studs for the frame structure. I used 1x3 studs, rather than the 2x4 studs the plans called for, but studs are never straight, which made for a heck of alot more work later as I added the finishing pieces. If I had to do it again, I would make the support pieces from oak boards instead. In any case, it's done, and now I know what to do for the rest of the entertainment center shelves and cabinets. Below are some pics of the stand.

I'm posting these so that another novice woodworker like myself doesn't make the same mistake of using studs for the stand frame, and maybe my experience will help them design and build a nice stand of their own without suffering the consequences of the studs like I had to. In fact, I had to sand 1/32" off each side of the tank's bottom frame to make the tank fit into the stand because the studs weren't straight, causing the tank not to fit after it was finished, even though I test fit it several times during assembly!


I made every piece of trim on this stand myself. The wide top and bottom edge rails (note that the top rail completely covers the bottom frame of the tank) are made from 13/16 red oak boards, with the top edges of each rail softened with a 1/2 inch roundover, while I used a 1/8 inch roundover on the bottom edge of each rail. I also rounded all corners by hand to reduce injury should someone fall and hit the corner of the top rail with their head (based on Nikki's experience of a friend falling near the tank), or hurt their foot should they inadvertently kick a bottom corner (yes there may be some uncoordinated people in my house from time to time!). The vertical corner moldings on each side of the stand are also red oak. The facing, door panels, and sides of the stand (not shown) are white birch plywood.



Instead of buying molding for the doors, I used the same 13/16 inch red oak boards, and routed the inside and outside door moldings. The outside edge was actually routed twice, once with a cove bit, then again with a 1/8 roundover to soften the outer edge of the cove. The inside edge of the molding was done with a 5/32 Roman Ogee bit. I then split the boards on my table saw. Boy was that tough!


Although the left side panel looks dark, it's just the color of the wall reflecting off the Semi-gloss Minwax Polycrylic I used to finish the stand. The sides are the same white birch as the front facing and door panels. I actually used no stain, only the clear Polycrylic so I'd have a natural wood color. I felt that a darker stain would make the room dark; after all the rest of the entertainment center will be 13.5 ft. x 8 ft. Can you imagine how dark the room would be with an entire wall of the room dark? I also like the way the natural wood color brings out the wood in the aquarium.



Here's shot of the wood that I'm going to use inside the tank. On the left are two pieces of a two-toned African Congo rootwood, also known as wellaby wood, mopani, among other names. The piece on the right is driftwood I got from someone in Florida. Too bad these pics really don't do any of the wood coloring justice.




 

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